23 Charts: Challenges Ahead for a Green New Deal

The Green New Deal proposal in Congress has caused a great deal of buzz, some of it enthusiastic, some of it skeptical and some of it negative. But we should be asking this: If not the Green New Deal, or something like it, then what are our options? There should be no debate about the fact that the United States and the rest of the world must act boldly and quickly to pull back from far more disastrous impacts of climate change than we are experiencing today. This post offers a set of slides that show some of the good news and the bad news about our response to climate change so far. Many of the illustrations come from Statista, a service that analyzes data from more than 22,500 sources to spot trends on a wide variety of topics including energy and climate. Others come from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, PoliticoPro and other data organizations. What we see is this: Although climate change must be addressed by every nation, the United States is in the driver's seat

Is 100% Renewable Energy “Impractical”?

Editor's Note: In this blog, Dr. Charles Kutscher, a member of PCAP's National Advisory Committee, rebuts the argument that 100% renewable energy is not practical. Dr. Kutscher  is a Fellow and Senior Research Associate of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, a joint institute between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He served as the Director of the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center at NREL from 2013 until his retirement in 2018. By Charles F. Kutscher Wind and solar energy are now very low in cost and have comprised more than half of new U.S. electric capacity additions for four of the last five years. Not surprisingly, they have become a target for those who want to continue our reliance on conventional energy sources. A case in point is a recent article, What It Costs To Go 100 Percent Renewable, by Philip Rossetti of the American Action Forum, which opposes the Green New Deal and argues that 100% renewable energy is impractical. I see several issues with Mr. Rossetti’s analysis, and to address them we

NRDC Interactive Map and State Profiles

From the National Resources Defense Council website: Every state in America can produce its own energy from clean, renewable sources, keeping millions of energy dollars in-state, reducing pollution, and creating new jobs and new sources of income. With the right policies in place, states and localities can harness their own natural resources -- from farmland and sunshine to wind and skilled labor -- to develop a local renewable energy industry. See the interactive map here: NRDC Renewable Energy Interactive Map See state profiles here: NRDC Renewable Energy State Profiles

Is the Post Fossil Fuel Era Now Inevitable?

January 2016 -by Michael Northrop - via Huffington Post. Ambassador Laurence Tubiana, France’s point person for COP21, wisely explained a year ago that Paris will be judged a success if it leads to the conclusion that the shift to the post fossil fuel era is inevitable. That feeling of inevitability, she reasoned, will underpin the massive shift of trillions of dollars required to pay for the low carbon transition. The positive conclusion of the Paris conference on December 12, coupled with the enormous array of commitments made before, during, and after the COP, indicates that a massive systemic change is afoot. Let’s review. First, what happened in Paris between November 30 and December 12? Second, what else has happened before and since that adds to the growing sense of inevitability? In Paris.  At the formal conference venue some of the well reported highlights included: The largest gathering of heads of state in history on November 30. The approval of an agreement to tackle climate change by 196 nations on December 12. The formal submission of 188 national climate action plans, and

January 11th, 2016|Energy Policy, Research|

California Cap-and-Trade November Auction Results

November 2015 - via California Legislative Analyst’s Office On November 24, 2015, the California Air Resources Board released summary results from the cap-and-trade auction conducted on November 17, 2015. Allowance prices were slightly higher than recent auctions, but, overall, the results were similar to recent auctions. Allowance prices were near the minimum price, and all of the allowances offered for sale were purchased. Based on the summary results, the state will collect $657 million in cap-and-trade auction revenue from the November auction. (The actual amount of state revenue will be determined in a few weeks and will depend on the future exchange rate between U.S. dollars and Canadian dollars. Please see the summary results for more details on the process for collecting proceeds.) Revenues Still Tracking Slightly Higher Than Most Recent Administration Estimate. The November auction is the second of four quarterly auctions scheduled in 2015-16. The Governor’s May Revision assumed $2 billion in revenue in 2015-16, but the 2015-16 budget does not include an explicit revenue assumption for 2015-16. If the remaining two auctions have similar results to the last few

New Report on Success of Nation’s First Carbon Market Provides Valuable Insights for Midwest Lawmakers

July 2015 - by Amanda Levin - via NRDC Switchboard blog The nation's first carbon market - the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - is a huge success for the public's health, the environment, and the economy, according to anew report released today. RGGI states - Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont - have reduced carbon pollution by one-third, while saving consumers $1.5 billion on their utility bills, creating over 22,000 additional jobs, and bringing $2.9 billion in additional economic benefit to the region since it began in 2008. Today's Analysis Group's report updates its 2011 examination of the first three years of RGGI. Like the study of RGGI's earlier years, they found that the initiative produced net benefits to consumers, state governments, and individual state economies. In fact, as the program has matured, states have better maximized the benefits and developed tools to successfully mitigate consumers' costs. In particular, states have increased reinvestment in state energy efficiency programs and other clean energy programs - reinvestment that "stands out as the most economically

Levelized Cost and Levelized Avoided Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015

June 2015 - via U.S. Energy Information Administration This paper presents average values of levelized costs for generating technologies that are brought online in 20201 as represented in the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) for the Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) Reference case.2 Both national values and the minimum and maximum values across the 22 U.S. regions of the NEMS electricity market module are presented. Read more here: Levelized Cost and Levelized Avoided Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015  

DOE Quadrennial Energy Review – First Installment

On April 21, 2015, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Task Force released its first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review report entitled, “Energy Transmission, Storage, and Distribution Infrastructure”. The first installment of the QER examines how to modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security and environmental responsibility, and is focused on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D), the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy system. The QER seeks to identify vulnerabilities in the system and proposes major policy recommendations and investments to replace, expand, and modernize infrastructure where appropriate. The United States has one of the most advanced energy systems in the world, supplying the reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean power and fuels that underpin every facet of the Nation’s economy and way of life.  The energy transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure -- defined here as the infrastructure that links energy supplies, energy carriers, or energy by-products to intermediate and end users -- is large, complex, and interdependent.  It includes approximately 2.6 million miles of interstate and intrastate pipelines; 414

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

From the RGGI website: An initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States of the U.S. Each state directs its own strategy for investing RGGI proceeds in programs that benefit consumers and build a clean energy economy. Here are just a few examples of individuals, companies and cities that have benefited from energy efficiency, renewable energy and job training programs funded with RGGI proceeds. These success stories also appear in the report Investment of RGGI Proceeds Through 2013. See the full report for more information on how RGGI proceeds have been invested. Older success stories can be viewed in the Archive, and media coverage of RGGI investments and successes is posted on the News and Updates page. Read more here: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Success Stories

January 1st, 2014|Energy Policy, Research|

Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

2013 - via National Research Council The U.S. Congress charged the National Academies with conducting a review of the Internal Revenue Code to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects. To address such a broad charge, the National Academies appointed a committee composed of experts in tax policy, energy and environmental modeling, economics, environmental law, climate science, and related areas. For scientific background to produce Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the committee relied on the earlier findings and studies by the National Academies, the U.S. government, and other research organizations. The committee has relied on earlier reports and studies to set the boundaries of the economic, environmental, and regulatory assumptions for the present study. The major economic and environmental assumptions are those developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its annual reports and modeling. Additionally, the committee has relied upon publicly available data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which inventories greenhouse

December 19th, 2013|Energy Policy, Research|